New Zealand Teacher Registration &

So, you’re either a school leaver, graduate entrant or career changer looking to become registered as a teacher in New Zealand? That country offers you 25 initial teacher education provider and 84 possible qualifications, according to the Education Council’s flowchart.

If you gained your qualifications overseas, though, check the process for New Zealand to recognise them. 

It generally takes three full-time years to gain a teaching qualification – either a degree or a diploma – so you can apply to register as a teacher with the Education Council. 


Once you’ve passed a criminal health record, a health check and one for good character, you may be granted a provisional practising certificate.

Practising Certificate Opens Doors

This certificate will allow you to be employed as a teacher in free kindergartens, primary and secondary schools (state, integrated and independent schools) and kura. It is also needed for most teaching positions in early childhood centres.

So, with a provisional practising certificate in hand, you’ve got two to six years to be inducted and mentored to gain your full practising certificate. In short, it means gaining teaching experience that meets the Standards for the Teaching Profession. This certificate must be renewed through appraisal every three years.

Don’t Let Your Experience Lapse

Think again before you dip in and out of the teaching profession in New Zealand. In October 2017, the Education Council required provisional teachers to do a refresher course every six years to keep working. That course costs $4000. Another option, according to the Education Council, is an in-school induction and mentoring program which the education ministry funds. 

Limited Authority To Teach

New Zealand also offers a Limited Authority to Teach (LAT) for fixed-term roles not permanent teaching. Unqualified teachers can apply for a LAT to teach if they have:

  • Skills and experience appropriate to advance student learning or
  • Skills in areas of need (current teacher shortage).

But, please note, it’s illegal to be appointed as a LAT to a permanent role. LATs aren’t meant for teacher aides or other support roles as these aren’t considered to be teaching positions. 

Codes and Standards

Teachers must follow the Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession. These came into force at the end of June 2017 and set out what it is and means to be a teacher in New Zealand. 

These are the values underpinning the Our Code, Our Standards document:

  • WHAKAMANA: empowering all learners to reach their highest potential by providing high-quality teaching and leadership.
  • MANAAKITANGA: creating a welcoming, caring and creative learning environment that treats everyone with respect and dignity.
  • PONO: showing integrity by acting in ways that are fair, honest, ethical and just.
  • WHANAUNGATANGA: engaging in positive and collaborative relationships with our learners, their families and whānau, our colleagues and the wider community.

Note, the New Zealand Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession are both loaded into Educa, available for linking to learning stories and to entries in your teacher portfolio. 

Teacher Appraisal – Goals and Inquiry Cycle

While the contents vary a bit from role to role, the major components are:

performance review and appraisal stage to set up your system.

2.     Goals and inquiry to set up your role in the cycle.

3.     Evidence curated, collaborative sense making and appraisal discussion to implement work around the goals, the evidence that informs practice and decision making, and the conversations that are central to appraisal.

4.     The summary report, which discretely marks the end of the cycle.


Changes Expected

Would-be teachers should also keep an eye on announcements from the New Zealand Ministry of Education. It’s mid-way developing its 30-year strategic plan for education – including early learning – in the country. 

Educa reports on education issues in New Zealand through our blog.

To learn about New Zealand’s early childhood Te Whariki curriculum here.

Use Educa for teacher registration.

Link to standards, upload evidence, download as needed.

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